House prices fell at a marginally slower pace in the three months to December against a backdrop of steady demand and a modest rise in the number of properties coming on to the market, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' seasonally adjusted house price balance rose to -16 last month from -17 in November, the highest level since June 2010 and confounding economists' forecasts of a further decline to -19.

London remained an outlier, with broad-based price rises.

Nationally, respondents expected prices to continue falling over the coming three months.

Continuing problems with the economy and the ongoing instability in the euro zone seem to be weighing heavily on the UK housing market, and expectations for the coming months are fairly subdued, said RICS spokesman Ian Perry.

With sales expectations remaining flat, it is important that vendors are realistic in their pricing if they wish the sale to go through in good time.

(Reporting by Olesya Dmitricova; Editing by Hugh Lawson)